Some New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep, while others just aren’t realistic to begin with. We all know how that goes. But here’s one resolution that couldn’t be easier: Let’s resolve to drive for better fuel economy in 2014. Here are a few simple tips that are guaranteed to work.
Naturally, when we’re talking fuel economy, the new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel comes to mind—it’s the fuel-efficiency leader in full-size pickups. However, these tricks will work equally well on any vehicle—gasoline or diesel, new or old. First, make sure the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure and all the fluid levels are correct, especially engine and transmission oil and engine coolant. It’s hardly a secret that these items affect fuel consumption, so let’s square them away first.
Fact: The single biggest factor in fuel mileage is you, the driver, and it’s all about smoothness. Think smooth 100 percent of the time when you’re behind the wheel, using both the throttle and brake as gently as possible. Pay special attention to your stopping rates. If you find yourself using the brakes heavily, that tells you two things: You’re accelerating too much, which uses excessive fuel getting up to speed, and you’re asking the brakes to absorb extra kinetic energy in slowing, which wastes fuel.
The whole trick to driving smoothly, especially in traffic, is to extend your range of vision as far up the road as possible. This will allow you to flow with traffic and anticipate congestion. If the traffic light six blocks ahead is turning red, your foot should not be on the throttle—that’s wasting fuel. Using the brake and throttle as little and as gently as possible will yield the best fuel economy. It really is that simple.
By now, you may well be thinking that driving for maximum fuel economy sounds an awful lot like driving for maximum safety, and also for the best brake, tire, and vehicle life. And you would be absolutely right. Just remember the key word: smooth. Driving for fuel economy is kind to the environment, and it’s kind to your wallet, too. And for the absolute best in fuel economy in a Ram 1500, be sure to check out the new 2014 EcoDiesel V6.